I've known Ayesha Ophelia for years. Living in Chattanooga, Tennessee, social circles are small. Mine and Ayesha's overlapped for years, and once we both got into the world of natural healing, they became one. It's been amazing to watch her visions coalesce - now she's hosting retreats AND a podcast (Holy Smokes), being an advocate for sensuality and cannabis as vital plant medicine. She's truly a force, and a sunny spirit in any room. Plus, we bonded over Love is Blind... Anyone who loves "romance" reality TV is a friend for life. Read on to learn more about this flower child...
Who are you and what do you do?
Once I was at a spa and they asked my occupation on a form and I said: HUMAN. And that stance feels really powerful now. It’s a full time job being human and the things I get to fill my time with are simply this: Plants.People.Potential.® I am the creator of The Girlfriend Manifesto, Society of Wild Hearts monthly coaching membership, Holy Smoke podcast and many other heartcentric creations. My passion is women and preaching the gospel of adventure, self-love spirituality, and sisterhood. The underlying message is all about human potential and how we can evolve into greater and greater awareness. I believe we can do this through many things including plants. Holy Smoke is a podcast powered by one of my favorite plants which is Cannabis. I have a deep interest in where entheogenic plants and spirituality intersect.
What’s your earliest plant memory?
My earliest memories of plants are being with Grandmother working in the Garden. She was the daughter of share cropper and planting and harvesting your own food was a way of life for her and our family as I was growing up. I learned to plant rows of corn, herbs in the windowsill, and a good portion of the food we ate as children. I remember being barefoot and happy outside while hanging onto every word my Grandmother would say to me.
Is nature involved in your current work? If so, in what way?
Nature inspires all of my current work. I have a series and a zine called #undertheinfluenceofplants and this very well encapsulates my relationship to nature and plants. It inspires my daily work as a coach, a guide, a friend, a lover, a visual artist and all the other titles I carry along with me. I have been having lots of dialogue about the trustworthy nature of the messages that comes to us in and around nature.
Do plants speak to you and how can you tell?
Plants speak to me through how they interact with my body. Each plants carries a specific vibration and informational packet that can help humans in a plethora of experiences. I love working with all aspects of the hemp plant for relaxation, anxiety, or elevation with strains that have THC. The language of plants is also beauty. How do I feel when I am beholding this plant? What might it say to me in story form? There are so many magical, mystical, and practical ways we can connect with plant life.
What’s your favorite plant?
My plant ally is a flowering plant related to roses called Cannabaceae also known as pot, Cannabis, hash, weed, ganja, reefer, grass, Mary Jane, Skunk, chronic, and many other nicknames. She is my favorite because of her divine feminine qualities and how I feel when I merge with her plant spirit. I slow down to appreciate. I feel easier access to my creative impulse to share my art with the world…I use to be so painfully shy and withdrawn. I feel less anxious. More tapped in. More alive. More willing. Less judgmental (usually) and on and on. We have learned how we best work together and I honor her as such a misunderstood plant. I often feel like that too.
What’s your favorite natural therapy, whether that be plant medicine, acupuncture, or something else?
All of my favorite natural therapies need no intercessor, no big budget, no fan fare, and are really simple. Lately solo breathwork has gotten me through some very intense feelings.
I heard my body say. “If we know how to breathe deeply we can get through anything, including death.” Animals know how to breathe into their entire bodies. Most of us are holding our breath while we move through the world. Learning to correctly breathe has been life changing for me.
What’s your favorite Wooden Spoon Herbs remedy? How has it helped you follow the plant path?
I love working with your Anxiety Ally. It has been a godsend over the last few years when I finally realized my empathetic nature is prone to want to carry things that are not my own. This has helped me put down that habit or feel better in the midst of realizing I am carrying a lot that is not my own.